Ways to Travel the World Inexpensively After Retirement

Marilyn with one of her students while teaching in China.
Marilyn with one of her students while teaching in China.

Teaching Traveling: Have you ever wondered how to travel to dozens of countries around the world cheaply as a teacher?

Have you wondered if there was an age limit to travel?

Read this interview with American teacher Marilyn Cook and be inspired and educated! Marilyn, tell us about yourself.

Marilyn: I am a small-town Mississippian, transported to metropolitan Jacksonville, Florida, kind of with two lives.

The first year out of college I taught in Nome, Alaska, after that Las Vegas, Nevada, 18 years in Mississippi, then 21 years in Florida.

I have traveled to Europe with a Cosmos tour, to England and Colorado with Friendship Force, to England again volunteering at a YWAM mission base, to Austria and Germany, then to the Caribbean, Valley Forge, Grand Canyon, along with volunteer work at Ridgecrest, NC.

At the ruins of the Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey.
At the ruins of the Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey.

I worked with a restoration project in France.

I’ve also traveled through New England, Virginia, Israel, taught in China, Hawaii, Turkey, and worked at a YWAM base in Switzerland.

TT: Wowza! Tell us more about these travels.

M: A very interesting travel opportunity was two years ago in Turkey on the Mediterranean.

I home schooled for a YWAM couple for one year.

I taught middle schoolers Ancient History in the land where it all started.

It was more than awesome.

The family was a model Christian family. The team was extraordinary, the international church runs a busy program, and the country is beautiful. I lived out in a village with the sheep and goats passing by every day with a 2,000 year old settlement just over the ridge behind the house. It really fit me.

Posing beautifully at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii.
Posing beautifully at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii.

TT: Amazing! How did you find this teaching traveling opportunity?

M: I found this advertisement in a YWAM Scotland newsletter.

TT: How did you fund your travels?

M: My host family paid my flight, my apartment rent, and I ate with them. I only had expenses of my own to Istanbul, Pamukkale, and Cappadocia.

TT: Fantastic. Tell us a travel moment that was particularly powerful.

M: When I lived in Alaska, Paul Green, an Eskimo, taught some of us 9 single teachers from “outside” to Eskimo dance. That was just one fun thing we did in that very social year in the wild beautiful Arctic.

TT: Ooo, sounds spicy! How have your travels impacted you as a teacher?

M: My travels have given me stories to tell to students and well as friends.

I also have beautiful photo albums to share and DVD’s I make on my movie maker program on my computer.

With the Charlie Chaplain statue in Switzerland.
With the Charlie Chaplain statue in Switzerland.

TT: How has travel impacted you as a person?

M: Yes, traveling is something I am addicted to as a person.

I love reminiscing, staying in touch with people I have met, and dreaming up another adventure.

TT: What words of advice do you have for teachers dreaming of travel?

M: I have done volunteer jobs with room and board covered.

So many of my trips have been economical.

For instance, when I volunteer at YWAM bases, I trade my services for room and board and then am able to sight-see as well.

In England, my job was cooking. Then every weekend I went down to Victoria Station and went sightseeing out of London. I saw so many really neat places.

In Lausanne, Switzerland, I was near Lake Geneva, and saw many places in that area as well as the Alps. At that base I mostly did laundry and made beds.

At Ridgecrest Baptist Campground, I volunteered, and worked in the Starbucks coffee shop. In China, our room and board was a trade off for our teaching.

At the famed Dome of the Rock in Israel.
At the famed Dome of the Rock in Israel.

Also, I am a member of the Educators Bed and Breakfast.

You only pay $40 a night for two when you stay in teachers’ homes.

I did that on the New England and Virginia trip.

And some of those trips I stayed with relatives, so my traveling opportunities have been divine appointments almost a lot of the time.

TT: Marilyn, thank you for sharing your fascinating, highly useful experiences!

You make SUCH a good point: That when you volunteer during travel, you not only save a huge amount of money, but you also make a big difference for others…

…and have a great time, yourself!

I found this to be true during my travels in Ghana, that volunteering was the key to affordable, enjoyable travel.

Readers, what questions do you have?

Marilyn in Perge, Turkey. This remarkable woman made her travel dreams come true. Will you?
Marilyn in Perge, Turkey. This remarkable woman made her travel dreams come true. Will you?

21 thoughts on “Ways to Travel the World Inexpensively After Retirement”

  1. could you let me know wher ei can get in touch with the christian family in turkey? i’d love to do the same (teach) for a summer!

  2. Marilyn, Your travels have fascinated me! I had not idea of the wide range of places you have visited/lived. I am envious but so very proud and happy for you. Had I known there were opportunities such as this, I would have pursued them. Bless you for seizing the moment and enjoying your life. You certainly deserve it. Love you!

  3. What fun to read all these comments to you, Marilyn! It affirms how blessed you are as are many you have touched. My wish for you is to continue your travels in some way shape or fashion, and spread some more good stuff around. God bless you in your future and in your emails and travels!

  4. I love this I wish I could do something this great with my life. But I guess the Lord has something else for me to do.
    You have always been a great teacher!! I am one that would know first hand. You care so much about your kids learning what you are teaching.

  5. Dear Marilyn,
    I loved your interview! I hope to have such journeys in my future, Lord-willing! Traveling and teaching has always been in my heart, I just have a ten-year-old to raise. I will certainly look into the summer programs though! I knew exactly where your were in the photo with the Charlie Chaplin statue, as I spent a summer abroad in Switzerland many years ago! I went out West this summer for a few weeks, but my memories of Switzerland around Lake Geneva still remain as the most beautiful place I have been in my life. Have a wonderful time this year, and please keep in touch. My students here in Jacksonville will love to see your excursions.
    Blessings in His Name,
    Laura Kenny

  6. Marilyn, I literally stumbled across your travels this pm on the web. My family too originates from Mississippi, and before that, Ireland. Wonder if we have some of the same roots? I’ve had a heart to travel, and have made it to Israel (LOVE the place and people!, China, equally fascinating, Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria. Have met some lovely Christian persons on each trip if lucky. Marilyn, I am 70 and so my numbered years are up, and I am on gifted time! May we become penpals for the remaining years? One question! The hair-do of yours is lovely and modern! in some of those ancient towns you travel to!! Tell me, how did you manage to keep it permed? or are you one of God’s favorites and he started you out with auto-curls!! Bless you. I love your spirit! My email is: katyruth1941@yahoo.com I have serious bone and mobility problems. So my ‘travelling wings’ are clipped, very short. I’d love to meet you some day as a friend and reminese… Did you have children along the way? I had three sons. I will share them with you if need be! Kate Abbott

  7. When one has a servant’s heart, is flexable,and a available—WOW God does amazing things!! It’s obvious that the Lord has given you the desires of His heart! Ps.37:4-5 You are a couragous lady for the Lord!!!
    God blessyou Marilyn.

  8. I enjoyed the photos we took, and admire your teaching experiences travelling all over the world, wish u have a happy life always!

    • You are an inspiration to us all. What a life you’ve led full of awesome adventures meeting interesting people while traveling all around the world. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Wow! You’ve had great experiences! Did you do all the volunteering experiences since we stayed with you in Florida? I’m impressed! Happy travels!

  10. Marilyn—this was a really fascinating interview—learned a whole lot about you that I didn’t know with our short visit. Haven’t you been smart and fortunate!!!! I am hopoing you continue the neat travels with your contributions. Best to you in your future fun!

  11. Truly remarkable! Jim Lavender suggested I look at this as I have visited much of Asia Minor in the past. Sure brought back fond memories of the historic sites you have visited.


Leave a Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.